Stories, Legends, and Myths from Inuit Publisher Inhabit Media

The Inuit people live in our world’s northernmost permanently inhabited locale. Inuit Nunavut, the Inuit homeland, is also Canada’s largest territory, encompassing 36 percent of Canada’s landmass and 50 percent of Canada’s coastline.  It is in this rich, Arctic expanse that the Inuit people—numbering over 160,000 across Canada, Russia, Alaska, and Greenland—live, love, and work towards their shared future, as well as towards preserving and celebrating their deep history, art, music, stories, and living traditions.

Inuit-focused publishers, such as Inhabit Media, make it possible for both Inuit and non-Inuit youth to learn about Inuit culture, oral traditions, folktales, arts, and family connections.  Inhabit Media’s books offer a wide variety of entry points, from early readers and board books to teen and adult nonfiction focused on Inuit history.  We invite you to take a peek at some of Inhabit Media’s newest books that illuminate the beauty of the Inuit people, and open minds and hearts to the rich, ancient, and vibrant Inuit culture.

Sea Snooze

In Sea Snooze, a beautifully illustrated lyrical bedtime tale by Sarabeth Holden and illustrator Emma Pedersen, two siblings set sail across a dreamy Arctic Ocean.  Guillemots, narwhals, mikes, and belugas frolic alongside polar bear clouds and twinkling stars.  Young bedtime listeners will drift into dreams of the unique creatures that call the Arctic their home.  This picture book has been selected by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, making it even easier to find by readers everywhere.

Sea Snooze by Sarabeth Holden Illustrated by Emma Pederson book cover
The Giant and the Grizzly Bear

Rosemarie Arcana Meyok’s The Giant and the Grizzly Bear brings us a traditional story from the Western Arctic about a giant who adopts and lovingly raises a human boy. Then one night a giant grizzly bear appears and the giant has to fight to protect himself and his human son.  Thamires Parades brings this tale to life with crisp and bright illustrations that are perfect to draw in young readers of this traditional tale.

The Giant and the Grizzly Bear
The Spirit of the Sea

The Spirit of the Sea comes to readers in multiple editions: an English-Inuktitut bilingual edition in print and also in audiobook format, as well as an English print edition. In this riveting Inuit legend of deceit and cowardice, author Rebecca Hainnu and illustrator Hwei Lim introduce us to young Arnaq and the shaman trickster Qaqulluk.   Qaqulluk tricks Arnaq into marrying him with promises of plentiful food, soft blankets, and a fancy tent.  But when Arnak arrives at Qaqulluk’s land, she discovers her new husband’s lies—the tent is full of holes, the blankets are tattered, and everything has a terrible smell.  All Arnak wants is to return home. When her father finally visits, she convinces him to take her home with him in his boat.  But Qaqulluk soon discovers that his wife is missing and goes out with his flock of fellow sea birds to find her.  When Qaqulluk discovers Arnaq and her father, he conjures up a terrifying storm.  Arnaq’s father, fearing for his life, throws his daughter overboard.  But instead of drowning, Arnaq sinks to the bottom of the sea, protected by the sea animals around her and becomes Nuliajuq—the spirit of the sea.

Dad, I Miss You

Dad, I Miss You is a powerful book, based on author Nadia Sammurtok’s family history of residential school separation, explores the emotional and psychological effects of forced separation on both child and parent. Told in both the voices of the boy and his father, the narrative gives voice to everything that is left unsaid.  Simji Park’s moving and powerful illustrations bring the boy’s inner turmoil and his father’s deep sense of loss to vivid life. We have linked to the educators’ resource page at Inhabit Media for this title to support the context young readers may need for accurate historical understanding.

Dad, I Miss You by Nadia Sammurtok illustrated by Simon Park book cover
Way Back Then

In Way Back Then Neil Christopher delivers a powerful introduction to traditional Inuit myths, paired with Germaine Arnattaujug’s etched illustrations, creating a mesmerizing bilingual bedtime story filled with warm spirit. Kuldu’s children will not go to sleep until he tells them a story of long ago. Before they shut their eyes, they want to hear about the time before Kudlu was born, a time when the world was magic. Before they can fall asleep, they want to hear about giants, animals disguised as humans, little people the size of lemmings, and all of the other wonderful things that existed way back then. This book is available in a bilingual English and Inuktitut print edition and in e-pub.

You can explore supporting material about topics, authors, and illustrators, and some title-specific activity pages, as well as news of book launches, by visiting Inhabit Media at their site. Happy Inuit discovery and happy reading to you!

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